Engadget is reporting that Google is going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. This works out to about $40 a share and follows a $56 million loss by Motorola.
As I woke up this morning, I must admit that I was taken by surprise with this story. Motorola has probably been one of the worst Android phone manufactures and was a manufacture that really wasn’t going anywhere phone wise. I know a number of people that will not buy Motorola phones due to experiences they’ve had with them from the past. So news of Google buying Motorola was quite shocking to say the least and brings up the question, why would Google consider buying this troubled company?
After some consideration, it appears that it’s not necessarily the cell phone manufacture that Google wants, but their patents. Over the last several weeks Google has been complaining that Microsoft, Apple and Oracle have had an agenda to take Android down, as each of these companies have been filing patent violation lawsuits against various Android manufactories seeking licensing fees from them. By Google buying Motorola, Google gets their hands on a list of patents that they can in turn use to help protect their Android brand.
Also, I think Google owning Motorola gives Google more control over the fate of their Android operating system. Google in the past has partnered with other manufactures to make their Nexus line of phones. The first of which was quite revolutionary for Android phones, but the Nexus S wasn’t so much. There were rumours that Google didn’t make a better handset due to pressure from other manufactures as many complained about how far ahead Nexus One went above other Android phones when Google made it available. With Google owing Motorola it could give them more of a reason to want to push forward. But it could also unfortunately lead to more complaints if manufactures feel Google is giving Motorola preferential treatment as it comes to updates or early access to new versions of the Android operating system. This is probably why Google has stated that they plan on running Motorola as a separate company and haven’t planned to fold it into Google.
Whatever the case, I’m just happy that Google finally has some patents to protect Android. Having watched these patent lawsuits roll in for Android manufactures has been troubling to watch and so I’m happy that Google can finally protect them. What do you think? Is buying Motorola a good idea for Google?